UNC Charlotte is launching a new initiative in classroom design to promote active and collaborative learning and to increase student engagement through hands-on activities and labs. Following the SCALE-UP model, for “Student-Centered Active Learning Environment with Upside-down Pedagogies,” two classrooms have been outfitted with state-of-the-art technology and space design all meant to promote active learning. The larger classroom seats up to 126 students and the smaller classroom seats up to 36 students. The classrooms will include roundtables that seat up to 9 students with 3 laptops each. Each table will have its own monitor for projecting the laptops and a white board. There is a faculty station with a smart podium and faculty can “promote” any of the students’ laptops to show on all of the monitors in the room.
In the pilot phase, large and small classes from several colleges will use the rooms. Disciplines represented include: Accounting, Architecture, Computer Science, Education, Geology, Liberal Studies, Physics, and Sociology. A research team will also be engaged in studying how the faculty and students interact with the space in order to inform training and the design of future classrooms.
Faculty who teach in the room are required to participate in technical and instructional design training offered via the Active Learning Academy community. The training will occur at the beginning of the semester and include regular meetings, face-to-face and virtual, during the semester.
The project is sponsored by Academic Affairs and with technical design and support provided by the Office of Classroom Support and the instructional design and support provided by the Center for Teaching and Learning.